Trump Is Now Suing Stephanopoulos and ABC News for Defamation

News & Politics

During a recent interview with Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) on ABC’s “This Week,” host George Stephanopoulos repeatedly tried to shame her for endorsing Donald Trump for president, claiming that “two separate juries have found him liable for rape and for defaming a victim of that rape.”

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Stephanopoulos was essentially trying to shame Mace, a victim of rape, for supporting Donald Trump. There was just one big problem: Trump has not been found legally liable for rape. But that didn’t stop Stephanopoulos from claiming over and over that he was, and now Trump is suing ABC News and George Stephanopoulos for defamation. 

Trump’s lawsuit takes aim at how Stephanopoulos at multiple points in his questioning said Trump had been found “liable for rape.” The jury had found Trump liable for sexual abuse under New York law, but not rape.

“Judges and two separate juries have found him liable for rape and for defaming the victim of that rape. How do you square your endorsement of Donald Trump with the testimony we just saw, ” Stephanopoulos asked during the interview.

“These statements were and remain false, and were made by Defendant Stephanopoulos with actual malice or with a reckless disregard for the truth given that Defendant Stephanopoulos knows that these statements are patently and demonstrably false,” Trump’s attorney, Alejandro Brito, wrote in the 20-page complaint.

“Indeed, the jury expressly found that Plaintiff did not commit rape and, as demonstrated below, Defendant George Stephanopoulos was aware of the jury’s finding in this regard yet still falsely stated otherwise,” Brito continued.

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We don’t know how much in damages Trump is asking for, but given the fact Trump was ordered to pay nearly half a billion dollars in a case where there is no victim and no crime, I say there is ample precedent for an incredibly large sum to go to Trump. Stephanopoulos interviewed E. Jean Carroll after the verdict, so there’s no doubt that he was aware that Trump was never found liable for rape.

The complaint notes that “Stephanopoulos opened the segment by playing a video of a speech given by Representative Mace in the South Carolina legislature in which she revealed she was a victim of rape. […] Immediately after playing the speech, Stephanopoulos questioned how Representative Mace could endorse Plaintiff given that, as Stephanopoulos claimed, Plaintiff had been ‘found liable for rape.'”

Related: Here’s How Google Has Been Interfering in U.S. Elections for Years

“Given that this was the first question of the Interview, combined with the intensity and persistence of the questioning engaged in by Stephanopoulos of an actual rape victim, it was clear that Stephanopoulos maliciously intended to convince his viewers of a falsity, i.e. that Plaintiff had been found liable of rape,” the complaint continues.

The complaint quotes Stephanopoulos repeating the false claim a dozen times, and Trump’s legal team argues that the statements were defamatory. The complaint also includes a quote from Stephanopoulos’s May 10, 2023 interview with Carroll where he acknowledges that Trump was indeed not found liable for rape.

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“How about yesterday in the courtroom, the first, the first announcement was made, and it was that he was not found liable for rape,” Stephanopoulos told Carroll. “What were you thinking at that moment?”

“Given Stephanopoulos’ knowledge of the actual verdicts in Carroll I and Carroll II and given his vast experience as a journalist, his repeated statements that Plaintiff was found liable for rape were false, intentional, malicious and designed to cause harm,” the complaint states. “Stephanopoulos knew that his statements about Plaintiff were false yet made them in any event.”

Here’s hoping Trump gets justice.

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